Voices From The Readers – January 13, 2017

Voices From The Readers – January 13, 2017

Roads Were Unacceptable


It is with amusement I read the stories about the tax differential. As a lifelong visitor and a recent transplant, I find it silly and naive to believe that elected officials would worry about Ocean City when the vast majority of OC property owners do not vote in this county.

The majority of commissioners have a golden goose who they are not accountable to at the ballot box. They can appease their voting constituents by continuing to take advantage of the relatively high taxes imposed on Ocean City properties, while OC funds and duplicates many county services. Unless and until a large number of property owners overwhelm the tax authorities with assessment appeals, or Ocean City ceases to provide these duplicate services, a majority of the commissioners will continue to serve their non-OC residents at the expense of the OC property owners.

My spouse and I accept this double payment. It is part of the price for living at the beach. What we do not accept is the lack of services at times for this double payment. Last year, it snowed on MLK Sunday, and nothing was done. By Monday morning, the roads were solid ice, and Route 90 had to be shut down. Ocean City officials blamed the county, the county blamed the state, and everyone blamed the contractors. And we could not get to work.

Déjà vu, this past weekend, the snow began Friday evening, as forecasted. As of Tuesday morning, Route 90 was still a dangerous mess. Coastal Highway is ridiculous. If Ocean City and West OC and Ocean Pines and Berlin truly want to be year-round communities and retirement destinations, basic safety and road services have to be provided at all times. Competent contractors need to be hired and held accountable.

The OC tax differential is not going anywhere. But residents will find other places to live and retire if our local, county and state officials cannot deliver basic services throughout the year.

James List


Community Angels Thanked


Our community is filled with angels. The outpouring of generosity for our annual Angel fundraising drive proves it.

Thank you to all of the angels — 1,173 of you — who this year contributed $106,344 to help fund the charity care we provide.

Last year, Coastal Hospice cared for 1,185 patients and families in the four counties on the Lower Eastern Shore and provided more than $670,000 in charity care to patients who lacked the resources to pay for the care they desperately needed.

The average gift this year was more than $90, which will have a significant impact on the care Coastal Hospice provides. For example, a $100 donation pays for one month of oxygen for a hospice patient at home. A $70 donation pays for one month of medical equipment for patient at home.
Angels like you are the bright lights in the midst of our lives. We truly appreciate your support.

Alane K. Capen


(The writer is the president of
Coastal Hospice.)

Thin Blue Line Applauded


The following letter was sent to members of the Ocean City Mayor and Council with a copy forwarded to this publication.)


In light of the recent approval by the Ocean City Council of the “thin blue line” being painted down 65th Street, in front of the Ocean City Police Department Headquarters, I’d like to commend you and express my strong support of this initiative honoring our men and women of law enforcement.

The rule of law is one of the foundational principles of our nation. It is the principal mechanism of ensuring and defending the rights and liberties we, as Americans, enjoy. Those that protect the rule of law, therefore, stand to protect virtually everything we stand for as a nation. As a veteran, and as a member of Congress, I have a profound appreciation for each individual who heeds the call to law enforcement service and voluntarily puts their life at risk to protect us all.

During these turbulent times, perhaps more than ever, it is imperative that we show support for our law enforcement officers. Your initiative to paint this “thin blue line” does just that. It is my sincere hope that every law enforcement officer who drives down 65th Street is reminded that the people of Ocean City, Maryland and America stand with them. They need to know that we, the people, appreciate the sacrifices they make, and the risks they take, to ensure our freedom and safety.

Thank you for this wonderful gesture demonstrating the appreciation and support we have for our men and women in blue. They truly are the “thin blue line” between order and chaos. If there is anything I can do to be of service on this or any other issue, please let me know.

Andy Harris

Washington, DC

(The writer is the congressman for Maryland’s First Congressional District.)

Democracy No More


American democracy is dead. When a candidate gets approximately three million more votes and is not the president, that is not democracy. When Republicans do all they can to make sure fewer people vote – voter suppression, fewer polling places in poor areas, fewer early voting days – that is not democracy. When the North Carolina legislature takes away powers from the duly elected Democratic governor, that is not democracy. When state governors appoint emergency managers to take away power from cities and towns, that is not democracy. When we no longer have to worry about corporate influence because corporations now make up the top positions in government, that is not democracy. When an elected president is denied the ability to appoint a Supreme Court Justice, that is not democracy. When four votes in Wyoming have the same weight in the Electoral College as one in California, that is not democracy.

And do we value our democracy? When 90 million people eligible to vote don’t do so, we do not value our democracy. When most people only use one news source for their information and fall prey to false news, we do not value our democracy. When people believe voting does not make a difference, we do not value our democracy.

People across the world yearn for democracy, risk their lives to fight for free elections and generally look up to the American model of democracy. Are we willing to abandon our proud heritage of freedom and progress toward fairness and justice for all? What are we willing to do to fight for it?

And what can we do to save our American democratic tradition?

Make every vote count by abolishing the Electoral College. www.nationalpopularvote.com

Support third parties by implementing instant run off voting. www.fairvote.org

Eliminate gerrymandering by have non-partisan groups redraw district lines. www.commoncause.org

Joan Roache

Ocean City